With the pitch being declared fit earlier in the morning U21 took on Egerton in a local derby at Moss Farm last Sunday. The teams had played out a 2-2 draw earlier in the season and today’s game turned out to be equally close.
With the team showing a number of changes from last week and a debutant in Rob Simpson, 1874 Northwich started off the better side. Kennerley was the first to test the Egerton keeper with two long range shots before Simpson also fancied his chances shooting just wide. Kennerley went close again and although the keeper spilled the ball there was no one to follow up.
The boggy pitch was not making tackling easy however that was no excuse for a lunging two footed tackle made by an Egerton defender that for some reason went unpunished. Then only 2 minutes later the same player was booked for another bad foul. Clare was the next 1874 player to test the goalkeeper although the weak shot didn’t do justice to the surging run that set up the chance. Following good play on the right Hoare put in a teasing cross which Barlow headed just wide from and just before half time Kennerley went close again. Half time came at 0-0 and 1874 had dominated Egerton however there was no goal to show for their hard work.
Five minutes into the second half Egerton had their first real chance with a free kick from outside the box. Heap was the latest to test the Egerton keeper before Watkins in the 1874 goal pulled out a remarkable save to keep the score at 0-0.
Egerton were beginning to get more confident however their efforts were restricted to dead balls or long rage efforts, 1874’s defence standing firm. However with 20 minutes left 1874 got the goal their hard work deserved with Kennerley picking up the ball mid-way in the Egerton half and went on a mazy run beating three defenders before calmly slotting the ball past the keeper at the near post.
Egerton nearly replied instantly, the post saving 1874 before Kennerley had one further chance with the keeper making a good save. 1874 were after the second goal which would of finished Egerton off, and forced a couple of corners that Rogerson whipped in but no one could capitalise on. The referee for some reason played 5 minutes of added time before blowing the final whistle, 1874 running out victors 1-0.
The result extends 1874’s lead at the top to 5 points with their nearest rivals Droylsden and West Kirby & Wasps playing out a 3-3 draw.
Team Watkins, C Hoare, Clare, Leah, Hill, Heap (c), Marsh, Barlow, Kennerley, Rogerson. Simpson subs McGhee and Pearson